Rājputāna (Rajasthani/Hindi: राजपूताना) meaning “Land of the Rajputs” was a princely state in India, that included mainly the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan along with parts of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and some adjoining areas of Sindh in modern-day Southern Pakistan. The main settlements were to the west of aravalli hills which was known as Gurjaratra, the earlier form of Gujrat before it came to be known as Rajputana, early in the Medieval Period. The name was later adopted by British government as Rajputana Agency for its dependencies in the region of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān. Rajputana agency included 18 princely states, two chiefships and the British district of Ajmer-Merwara. This British official term remained until its replacement by "Rajasthan" in the constitution of 1949.
George Thomas (Military Memories) was the first in 1800, to term this region the Rajputana Agency. The historian John Keay in his book, India: A History, stated that the Rajputana name was coined by the British, but that the word even achieved a retrospective authenticity: in an 1829 translation of Ferishta's history of early Islamic India, John Briggs discarded the phrase Indian princes, as rendered in Dow's earlier version, and substituted Rajpoot princes.
The area of Rajputana is estimated to be 343,328 square km (132,559 square miles) and breaks down into two geographic divisions:
- An area northwest of the Arāvalli Range including part of the Great Indian (Thar) Desert, with characteristics of being sandy and unproductive.
- A higher area southeast of the range, which is fertile by comparison.
The whole area forms the hill and plateau country between the north Indian plains and the main plateau of peninsular India.
- "Rajputana". Encyclopædia Britannica.
- "Rajput". Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Bose, Manilal (1998). Social Cultural History of Ancient India. Concept Publishing Company. p. 27. ISBN 978-81-702-2598-0.
- R.K. Gupta; S.R. Bakshi (1 January 2008). Studies In Indian History: Rajasthan Through The Ages The Heritage Of Rajputs (Set Of 5 Vols.). Sarup & Sons. pp. 143–. ISBN 978-81-7625-841-8. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- F. K. Kapil (1999). Rajputana states, 1817-1950. Book Treasure. p. 1. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- John Keay (2001). India: a history. Grove Press. pp. 231–232. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0, ISBN 978-0-8021-3797-5.
Colonel James Tod, who as the first British official to visit Rajasthan spent most of the 1820s exploring its political potential, formed a very different idea of "Rashboots".....and the whole region thenceforth became, for the British, 'Rajputana'. Historian R. C. Majumdar explained that the region was long known as Gurjaratra early form of Gujarat, before it came to be called Rajputana, early in the Muslim period.
- R.C. Majumdar (1994). Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 263. ISBN 8120804368, ISBN 978-81-208-0436-4.
- Low, Sir Francis (ed.) The Indian Year Book & Who’s Who 1945-46, The Times of India Press, Bombay.
- Sharma, Nidhi Transition from Feudalism to Democracy, Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur, 2000 ISBN 81-87359-06-4.
- Webb, William Wilfrid The Currencies of the Hindu States of Rajputana, Archibald Constable & Co., Westminster, 1893.
- Rajputana, Encyclopædia Britannica.